Line Drift Post
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This is an extract from an article on page 175 titled "A visit to an Out-Post" by Blackthorn, and describes the visit on horseback made by two officers stationed in Grahamstown to the officers doing detachment-duty at Line Drift.
"On our right, flowed the beautiful Keiskama (sic), bordered by rich and luxuriant vegetation, amongst, which, date-palms, and other semi-tropical trees were conspicuous. On our left, rose enormous square-topped hills, covered with mimosa-bushes and other shrubs; whilst high in the air, flocks of aasvogels (vultures) were lazily circling round and round. Immediately before us, lay the pleasant-looking little fort, with a motley group of soldiers and Kaffirs (sic) around the gate.
We were warmly welcomed by our friends, who soon had us seated to a capital dinner, and, after detailing all the news from Head-Quarters, over a couple of tumblers of hot toddy, we retired for the night, somewhat fatigued from our sixty miles’ (96.56 kilometers) ride.
The next day being Sunday, we attended divine service, at which the commandant officiated, and, in the afternoon, amused ourselves by exploring the post, and its vicinity. The fort itself is small, but it contains barracks sufficient for the accommodation of a company of men, with stabling for about twenty horses. The walls are of stone, pierced with loop-holes for musketry, but the buildings are only composed of a wicker-work of sticks, smeared over with mud, called in this colony "wattle and daub", – with thatched roofs of coarse grass. In the centre of the fort there is a small magazine, with a tank capable of containing a large supply of water. The officers’ quarters are considerably better than those for the men, although made of the same materials, and roofed in the same manner. They possess wooden floors, and a verandah running along the front. The garrison at the time of our visit, consisted of two officers and forty men of the 10th Regiment, and nine troopers of the Cape Mounted Rifles.
The only houses within miles of the post, are the canteen and contractor's store, which are about a hundred yards (91.44 meters) away."
The North Lincoln Sphinx - A Regimental Periodical 1860 - 1862; Reprinted by the State Library, Pretoria, 1968.
Originally printed for private circulation only, it was compiled by the Officers and Men of the Second Battalion of the Tenth Regiment of the North Lincolnshire Regiment of Foot and was printed on the Regimental Press, in Grahamstown and Keiskammahoek.
Submitted by William MARTINSON.